Auburn researching better Alabama beer

The country's craft beer industry is booming and Alabama brews are also enjoying success.

But agricultural researchers at Auburn University are looking to make 'Bama beer even better for state farmers growing malting barley as well as hops.

Auburn scientists are developing recommendations specific to Alabama growers. 

“We’re in the early stages, but there are a lot of niche markets we can explore,” Julie Howe, associate professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, said.  “There’s great interest in homegrown or ‘grown in Alabama,’ and we’re looking to incorporate an agricultural research component into the state’s brewing industry.

At this point, barley is seen as a crop that can be possibly added into a more traditional rotation while hops is thought of as more of a specialty crop.

"These are intensive crops, and brewers realize they need to leave agriculture to people who know the most about agriculture,” Howe said. “Every Alabama brewer I have talked with is interested in an all-Alabama or all-Southeast-type beer. They won’t brew all of their beers that way, but it might give them an edge over competitors.” 

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Alabama Farmers Federation

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